Patagonia Runcation: Trail Running El Chaltén’s Refugio Circuit

Winter/Spring 2019-2020

 

If you've dreamt of exploring Patagonia by trail running while staying at a combination of comfortable and scenic hotels and unique Argentinian refugios, or mountain lodges, this is the trip for you. Throughout the trip, we'll leave tour buses and crowds behind in order to facilitate pristine Patagonian trail running adventures on this running retreat. Our guided trail running trip will start in El Calafate, where we will begin our adventure with a visit Patagonia’s most famous glacier and one of the world's only advancing glaciers. We’ll get up close and personal to El Perito Moreño glacier with some ice trekking on the glacier! We'll then explore further south to the Refugio Circuit outside of the legendary town of El Chaltén, home to Monte Fitzroy, Cerro Torre, craft breweries, pristine lakes, glaciers, rivers, grasslands, and some of the world's most spectacular mountain vistas. Our curated hotels offer the comforts of spa services, organic farm-to-table dinners, and breathtaking lake and mountain views. In between we'll trail run through Los Glaciares National Park and visit unique Argentinian mountain lodges and private nature reserves. We'll trail run from these base camps, where where vistas of mountain spires, glaciers, and remote lakes are enjoyed with mate, homemade pizza, typical Argentinian parrillas of roasted meat, ample Malbec, and artisanal beer brewed with special character and history unique to each location. Possible wildlife sightings range from Huemul (patagonian deer) to Condors and Pumas. This running retreat is the perfect mixture of comfort and exploring the uncrowded, off-the-beaten path trails of some of Patagonia's most spectacular sites. On this guided trail running tour with all logistics, lodging, and transport taken care of, enjoy a break from winter and enjoy a Patagonian summer on our running retreat.

This running retreat adventure is open to ages 15 and up of any pace or level of runner. Must be able to complete 7-15 miles/day of hiking/running, including 1,000-3,500 feet of elevation gain per day. Optional 12-week training package available from an experienced running coach to ensure you're trained and ready to go for this adventure of a lifetime!

 
 

 
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Overview

•Guided tour of Patagonia’s most famous glacier, El Perito Moreño, including a mini ice trekking trip on the glacier!

• Scenic destination runs up stunning mountain ranges, peaks, lakes, and rivers, including Monte Fitzroy, Cerro Torre, and more in Los Glaciares National Park

• Sunrises and sunsets from comfortable and charming mountain eco lodges, cabañas, and hotels

• Stay on a private nature reserve next to a glacier, alpine lake, and impressive mountain range 

• Enjoy a mixture of typical Argentinian Patagonia cuisine and organic farm-to-table meals, complete with Malbec and Argentinian craft beers

• Accommodates all running disciplines, from road             racers to trail runners and solo travellers

• All transportation during the trip, including baggage transport included

• Special bonus adventures including estancia tours, wine tasting, glacier tours, and tango performances
 

Enjoy a panorama of Monte Fitzroy on our guided trail runs

Enjoy a panorama of Monte Fitzroy on our guided trail runs

 

Sample Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Patagonia!

Our trip will start midday with a meet-and-greet and orientation meeting to meet the guides and go over the logistics and itinerary of the upcoming week! After meeting at the airport at the scheduled departure time, we'll catch transport to our , comfortable 4-star hotel that sites lakeside with a view of Patagonia’s largest freshwater lake, Lago Argentina. That afternoon, we’ll enjoy dinner and refreshments to go over the week ahead. 

DAY 2

          Perito Moreño Glacier!

After a quick optional morning shakeout run, we'll return to a breakfast spread of homemade Argentinian jams, coffees, teas and baked goods. Our day's adventure will take us to a mini trekking tour of the Perito Moreño Glacier, one of the highlights of Argentinian Patagonia and one of the world's only advancing glaciers. This spectacular glacier spans approximately 252 square km – 30 kilometers in length, about 5 km wide, and from the water to the top of the glacier the average height is a 73 meters! It is fed by the Southern Patagonia Ice Field and we’ll get the chance to see some glacier calving before a mini trek on the ice! We'll enjoy private transport and a guided tour on the glacier, where we'll get up close and personal with a knowledgable guide and catered lunch. Afterwards, we'll return for dinner to celebrate our final evening in El Calafate. 

DAY 3

Vamos a El Chaltén!

Today we wake up for a final morning at our 4-star lakeside hotel and set off for El Chaltén, one of Patagonia's most spectacular mountain towns. After views of mountains roll by on the Patagonian highway, we check in to our comfortable and private scenic cabañas, a staple of Argentinian Patagonia, before setting off for an afternoon adventure run straight from our front door. We'll head up following a trail alongside the river of the valley as views begin to unfold of Cerro Solo, the Adela range, Cerro Torre and the Mount Fitzroy. That evening you're free to explore the restaurants in town, or sip a glass of Malbec and watch the golden hour over the nearby mountains. 11.8 miles, 1,000 feet elevation gain

DAY 4

Summits of Chaltén

After a spread of a delicious breakfasts of granola, yogurt, juices, homemade breads and eggs, we’ll head out on another adventure run for the day. The trail starts in the lower, rocky hills and shrublands with views of Cerro Torre and Fitzroy. We'll wind through a forest of lenga, turning beautiful autumnal colors, before our steepest climb of the trip. From the summit you can see both Cerro Torre and Fitzroy to the north and the Rio Tunel Valley to the south. For those wanting a rest day, you’re welcome to skip the run and take a short hike to a nearby lagoon, or explore town. Treat yourself to an artesanal aprés at a famous cerveceria, or brewery in town, before enjoying a meal of tender Argentinian steaks, fresh trout from the local Lago del Desierto, and Malbec glasses as big as your head. 12 miles, 3,200 feet elevation gain

DAY 5

         Mountaintop Lodges and Private Nature Reserves

After another delicious breakfast at our cabañas, we’ll head out the front door to an epic three days of adventuring off-the-beaten path trails into the Patagonian wilderness. We'll enjoy a relaxing pace of run/hiking, with plenty of time to stop and admire the settings as we carve through mountains, passing waterfalls, rivers, and alpine lakes. We'll arrive to our comfortable mountain lodge sitting alongside a alpine lake and glacier on a private nature reserve with 13,000 acres of forests, ice, lakes and rivers. Baggage transport is included, so you only need to carry some hydration and a camera to capture the views of today! Afternoon activities are plentiful, ranging from exploring the estancia, exploring nearby mountain lagoons and vistas, or relaxing in the tranquil setting of our home for the evening. We’ll enjoy a local and nutritious Argentinian Patagonian meal mountainside with our hosts for the evening! 11.5 miles, 1,200 feet elevation gain

DAY 6

Refugios and Rivers

After breakfast at the lodge, we’ll continue to head deeper into Los Glaciares National Park. Our destination is trail alongside the Eléctrico valley to catch views of the north face of the Mount Chaltén and the Mermoz and Guillaumet needles. On the way back we'll stop for a break, lunch, and refreshments at a unique Argentinian refugio before returning to our mountain lodge for a celebratory dinner at our final night in this paradise. Mileage options from 7-11 miles. 800 feet elevation gain. 

DAY 7

Searching for Fitzroy

After waking up for a sunrise from our mountain lodge, we’ll hit the trails for our longest day on the trails as we wind back towards El Chaltén, passing as many lakes as we can, including the legendary Lago de Los Tres with a front and center view to Monte Fitzroy. We'll stop for snacks and photo ops and enjoy our final day on the trails in Patagonia. We'll return to enjoy a final celebratory dinner in town! Optional afternoon activities include an estancia tour or a tango performance from local artists!14.9 miles, 2,900 feet elevation gain

DAY 8

Final Day in Paradise

After our last breakfast at our cabañas in El Chaltén, we’ll depart in the morning for the El Calafate airport by private transfer with new friends and tons of memories!

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What’s included

Roundtrip transportation from the airport in El Calafate, Argentina (at specific transfer time)

All accommodations and bookings 

Trip logistics of route planning, lodging, and transportation reservations

A 8:1 ratio of guide to participants

Baggage transport

Knowledgable guide and running coach along the entire route

All breakfasts included and two 3-course dinners included

Entrance Fees to National Parks

Perito Moreño Glacier Tour, including gear, guide, entrance fee, and transport costs

 

Not included

International airfare

Alcoholic beverages and meals 

Travel Insurance

Dinners and lunches (except for two days)


Who should attend?

You do not need to be an expert trail runner! The only requirements are that you are healthy and prepared to run/hike the mileage and elevation gain of the trip. It also helps if you enjoy running, and are stoked about exploring the trails of Patagonia with us!

Book Early

Rooms are first come, first served. To secure your spot, booking is required by September 1st.

Before You Go

You must have a valid passport and travel insurance to cover the activities of the Patagonia running tour. Argentina visa requirements can be found here, and current CDC recommendations for travel to Argentina is found here.